Gavin Lane


73 games reviewed
72.7 average score
80 median score
63.0% of games recommended
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3 / 10 - Harvest Life
Nov 30, 2018

Harvest Life is not irredeemably awful, but it's rough and easily outclassed by the games it evokes. It feels dehydrated, with all the soul and polish sucked out, and a few pleasant tunes aren't enough revive it. Games of this ilk thrive on charm; this is subsisting on numbers and fodder. Harvest Moon fans don't have much on Switch at the moment beyond Stardew Valley, but life's too short to waste in Lohwold.

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Jul 9, 2019

We spent a long time mulling over why Senran Kagura: Peach Ball didn't push any of our buttons. If you find anime ladies with animal features highly appealing, you can probably add a couple of points to the score below. Ultimately, though, Peach Ball serves up a tedious, repetitive story with monotonous characters and pinball tables that can be characterised likewise. Despite a polished art style and a genuinely interesting idea of livening up the arcade game in a way only possible in a video game, we found the end result sorely lacking in the pinball department.

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Sep 4, 2019

It'd be easy to look at the bobcat's resumé, look at this and dismiss it out of hand. Unfortunately, although Bubsy: Paws On Fire has the foundation of a decent runner and developer Choice Provisions knows what it's doing in terms of creating levels with an engaging flow, less than stellar performance, bland and repetitive stages, superfluous gameplay additions and long loads combine to drag the experience down. It's not awful, it's just nowhere near as good as the Runner series and ultimately we'd recommend ditching the bobcat and spending time in the company of Commander Video instead.

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5 / 10 - Space Ribbon
Aug 24, 2018

Space Ribbon is not without merit – and the closer it inches into F-Zero's slipstream, the better it gets – but a terribly humdrum beginning, lacklustre implementation of items and a central mechanic which forces you to slow down to speed up makes it a tough proposition. There's fun to be had if you persevere but considering how the alternatives provide pretty-much instant diversion, this makes you work too hard for it.

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Jul 25, 2018

If you find Ecco the Dolphin a bit dull, Hungry Shark World is an ideal antidote – what it lacks in finesse it makes up for with vicious energy. The gated content is doled out a little slowly, but the base gameplay is fast and satisfying, if a little repetitive. However, it's the interminable loading screens that truly destroy the pace and hamper the arcade-style fun, making this one hard to recommend.

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Jul 24, 2018

Star Story: The Horizon Escape is an inoffensive time sink with some competent gameplay that's 'fun' for an hour or two. Once you've seen a couple of the endings, though, it quickly palls. If you've run out of things to play on your Switch – and given the current flood of software, that's highly unlikely – and you're willing to forgive a lack of polish, you could do far worse, but look elsewhere if you're after a meaty adventure game.

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5 / 10 - Panty Party
May 3, 2019

Panty Party is not unenjoyable. Don't be tricked into thinking you'll be ogling barely dressed girls – the panties themselves are the stars here. Bayonetta is an infinitely more alluring proposition in absolutely every way, but Panty Party's hack-and-slash style gameplay isn't without merit and there's a certain bizarre joyfulness to it. It's mostly-harmless, repetitive nonsense that you'll blow through in an afternoon, but we'd be lying if we said it didn't raise a grin or two through its sheer WTF-ness.

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While the central conceit sounds promising as an FMV experience, The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker fails to find a consistent tone or fully engage the player in its story. It offers a couple of nice ideas and the odd smile, but if you don't care about the central mystery, you're left with madness, and the disparate threads never weave together in a satisfying way. The two ominous notes of the soundtrack (only a mild exaggeration) are left to supply tension, and with The Bunker and Late Shift showing how the genre can be relevant and entertaining in 2018, it's hard to recommend this over the alternatives.

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Aug 6, 2019

Omega Labyrinth Life is a Whopper of a game – delicious and juicy on the poster, but it's really just salt and stodge. If you're after some decent dungeon-crawling filler, it certainly does the job and there's pleasure to be had, but there are far cheaper, more adventurous meals on Switch eShop that are ultimately more satisfying and won't leaving you feeling mildly guilty. If you're a curious onlooker whose interest is piqued, we'd wait for a sale; fanservice isn't enough to justify the asking price at launch for anybody but diehard Omega Labyrinth devotees.

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6 / 10 - Koloro
Dec 28, 2018

There's no shortage of charming, artistic puzzle-platformers on Switch and Koloro is certainly a good one; there's much to like in its simple mechanics and narrative, and there's satisfaction to be found in its puzzle-solving. The problem is that you've almost certainly seen everything it has to offer somewhere before and, as much as it engages your grey matter while you play, it's unlikely to stay with you in the same way the games it evokes do.

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If it were a launch title, we'd recommend tactics fans investigate Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix, at least until something better came along, but something better did come along – several things, in fact. If you're an insatiable tactics fiend who's munched through everything else, including the previous collection, this is stodgy, competent filler that should keep you going for a while; it's a supermarket meal deal or a plate of cocktail sausages. It's no-frills and fine, but with a veritable buffet of tasty, interesting alternatives, who wants a sausage on a stick? Perfunctory, cliched writing and a lack of niceties make it a tougher sell when there are literally hundreds of hours to be had elsewhere.

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Oct 17, 2018

It's not for everyone, but Warriors Orochi 4's multitudinous hordes can be pleasurable to sweep through, despite the game feeling by-the-numbers in many ways. This is simply more, and while fans might be able to forgive the bland presentation, we'd wager that non-devotees would have a much better time with the Zelda or Fire Emblem spin-offs – with the characters, settings and accoutrement you know and love helping to temper the monotony when you're not quite ‘in the zone'.

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Aug 26, 2018

In many ways God Wars is like a new Picross game; it's more of the same. The Japanese folklore narrative offers a slight twist, but the script is painfully dull and repetitive. If you're dipping your toe into the genre or only have time for one of these, we'd sit tight to see what Intelligent Systems has up its sleeve with the upcoming Fire Emblem: Three Houses. If you're a strategy junkie after a fix, it gets the job done with all the mechanics and systems you'd expect – but nothing new or novel.

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6 / 10 - The Mooseman
Jul 16, 2018

If you're the type to burn through the Louvre in an hour and wait for your companions in the cafe, The Mooseman may well try your patience. If you're more inclined to wander around with an audio guide, reading every accompanying plaque and information card, you'll likely enjoy its sedate pace, workaday puzzles and catalogue of artefacts. A clumsy UI seriously hampers the experience but, if you're willing to work around the irritations at its core, it offers an interesting, sometimes beautiful journey.

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6 / 10 - Garage
May 9, 2018

It's just hard to shake the feeling you've played this game before, and better.

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Apr 18, 2018

For better or worse, The Way Remastered is a faithful homage to the old Delphine Software titles that inspired it and players should expect no more or less.

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Mar 29, 2019

There’s fun to be had on New Zack Island, although we wish it drilled down on two or three things rather than the assortment of slighter activities it offers. Ultimately, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet is a minigame compilation that you play repeatedly to earn money to buy costumes for busty supermodels.

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Sep 15, 2018

Wasteland 2: Director's Cut on Switch is a missed opportunity. While the underlying systems and crunchy combat are enjoyable – and it just about works as a portable experience – a steady list of irritations make an unqualified recommendation impossible. There's a solid foundation of gritty turn-based combat with some great writing, but a stubborn camera, disappointing performance and a lack of quality-of-life enhancements means the PC ‘master race' take this round.

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Oct 14, 2022

For Trek-starved fans with Nintendo consoles, Star Trek Prodigy: Supernova does a good job - far better than you might expect - of channelling the show's spirit and appeal into a light, kid-friendly co-op adventure with plenty of puzzles. By tapping into those Trek tenets of friendship, cooperation, and problem-solving as a team, Tessera Studios has created something far closer in spirit to the series than any dry space sim, even if (much like the inexperienced crew running the Protostar) it can often feel a little rough around the edges. It's not set to stun, then, but it shows plenty of promise, especially if you have young cadets eager to enlist.

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Veterans of the first game won't be expecting a technical tour-de-force, but Deadly Premonition 2 still manages to underwhelm in pure performance terms. However (and this is a big however), it's a game with real character and it's very tough to dislike, even as you stutter your way around Le Carré on your skateboard. If you've ever been intrigued by the original, we'd recommend giving this a go. It's janky and derivative, yes, but it's also irresistibly wonderful and strange, and there's no other video game quite like it.

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